Friday, 17 August, 2018

Google Workers Split Over Censor-Friendly Chinese Search and News Plan

Credit        Shutterstock Credit Shutterstock
Oscar Goodwin | 04 August, 2018, 17:50

The prospect of Google returning to China is in line with the trend of several U.S. tech giants willing to tailor their products and services in order to gain access to the massive Chinese market.

Censorship seems to be a way of life in China, as Baidu, the number one search engine in China, mentioned "censorship" during its second quarter 2018 earnings call on Tuesday when Alicia Yap, analyst at Citigroup Global Markets Asia, asked about "the recent operating environment for the overall newsfeed and advertising content censorship".

The Intercept reported Wednesday that Google plans to launch a search app in China that would block sensitive websites and search terms to comply with Chinese government censorship.

Facebook's website is also banned in China but the company has also signalled its interest to enter the market.

The project codenamed Dragonfly is claimed to have been underway since early past year, with acceleration seen during the last couple of months, courtesy high-level meetings between Sundar Pichai and "a top Chinese government official".

Google's new search engine, reportedly codenamed Dragonfly, will block terms related to religion and human rights, both areas of some controversy in China. "But we don't comment on speculation about future plans", Google said in an emailed statement. The Chinese government is yet to give final approval, The Intercept said. China subsequently blocked Google's services on the mainland.

"The reality is that they will be serving the Chinese government", said Lockman Tsui, former head of free expression for Google in Asia.

The work followed a meeting between Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai and a top Chinese government official. In 2014 and 2015, Google developed a version of its Play app store that only included apps and services approved by the Chinese government, but that hasn't launched. Google is reportedly developing an Android app that will bring its search services back to China, with heavily restrictions on access to content that is deemed unfavourable by the ruling party. It is now expected that Google will launch in China within the next nine months if the Chinese government allows it.

Per the Bloomberg report, one Google employee transferred to a different role at the company due to ethical concerns over Dragonfly.

Google's re-entry into China will see it compete with Baidu, which now has nearly 70 per cent of the domestic search market, according to data by StatCounter Global Stats. According to the leaked materials, the development of the censorship-friendly mobile search engine app began in the spring of a year ago.

This has very serious implications not just for China, but for all of us, for freedom of information and internet freedom.

While going to Google to search for virtually anything is a common practice for many of us, the same isn't true for people in China.

What has been censored in China's has varied somewhat over the years. "We want to be in China serving Chinese users". The country's entire internet is effectively "surrounded" by its Great Firewall of China, a joint effort by the state and tech and telecommunications companies to censor the web in accordance with Chinese law.

Recommended

  • Collusion not a crime? Not exactly the point

    Collusion not a crime? Not exactly the point

    Then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, also participated in that meeting. Speaking to CNN's "New Day" on Monday, Giuliani said he wasn't sure if collusion was a crime .
    Demi Lovato's backup dancer asks for end to 'negative' speculation

    Demi Lovato's backup dancer asks for end to 'negative' speculation

    Then Radar Online reported that Demi and co. were partying hard for her backup dancer/BFF Dani Vitale's birthday. Last Thursday, fire officials released redacted audio of a 911 call that led to Lovato's hospitalisation.
    Thieves with stroller allegedly steal shark from San Antonio aquarium

    Thieves with stroller allegedly steal shark from San Antonio aquarium

    The three suspects arrived at the San Antonio Aquarium , in Texas , on Saturday afternoon armed with a baby stroller and a net. As of Monday night, the stolen gray horn shark , which the aquarium has estimated to be worth $2,000, has been found alive.
  • YouTube Dark Mode Now Available On Android

    YouTube Dark Mode Now Available On Android

    The " Dark Mode ", which converts Youtube's content to a dark background on white text is finally arriving on Android platform. But while iOS users got to take advantage of the new option relatively fast, those on Android were left waiting.
    Elon Musk apologizes for behavior on infamous Tesla earnings call

    Elon Musk apologizes for behavior on infamous Tesla earnings call

    The company's revenue grew for the sixth straight quarter, mainly thanks to sales of the Model 3. Telsa's shares jumped 9.3 per cent to $US328.85 in after-hours trading on Wednesday.
    Eight States Sue to Block Release of Plans for 3D-Printed Firearms

    Eight States Sue to Block Release of Plans for 3D-Printed Firearms

    The lawsuit also says the settlement infringes on states' rights to regulate firearms, therefore violating the Tenth Amendment. Numerous State Attorneys General are taking action to curtail Wilson's ability to place gun files online.
  • Chelsea receive good news as superstar extends contract

    Chelsea receive good news as superstar extends contract

    Hudson-Odoi's velcro close control, dribbling and all-around technical ability have impressed Chelsea supporters to no end. Courtois won the La Liga title, the Copa del Rey and the Super Cup during his stint at Atletico under Diego Simeone.
    Crews battling deadly California wildfire slowed by returning winds

    Crews battling deadly California wildfire slowed by returning winds

    During the course of their mission the firefighters came across an unlikely pair of animals impacted by the fire. The state spent more than $114 million fighting fires in July, the first month of California's fiscal year.
    Riots shake Zimbabwe capital Harare as election results delayed

    Riots shake Zimbabwe capital Harare as election results delayed

    As Zimbabwe awaits the final result of the presidential election, both the MCD Alliance and ZANU-PF are confident of success. Mr Mnangagwa called for calm in a post on Twitter while results were collected.
  • EPA unveils plan to lower Obama-era federal fuel standards

    The firm projects the policy would cost the US economy $457 billion and cause 13,000 deaths by 2050, as air quality suffers. The logic is that because new-car prices will be lower, "more consumers will be able to afford newer and safer vehicles".
    USA  sanctions two Turkish officials over detention of American pastor

    USA sanctions two Turkish officials over detention of American pastor

    Brunson was held for almost two years in prison on terror-related charges before he was moved last week to house arrest. Justice Minister Gul said Wednesday he does not own any property or have money outside Turkey.
    Zimbabwe presidential election is first without former President Robert Mugabe

    Zimbabwe presidential election is first without former President Robert Mugabe

    Mr Chamisa also tweeted: "Winning resoundingly.We now have results from the majority of the over 10 000 polling stations". ZEC, which said on Monday voter turnout had averaged 75 percent, will announce official results within five days.

Martial not a Bayern Munich target, Rummenigge confirms Martial not a Bayern Munich target, Rummenigge confirms Mourinho was expecting the 22-year-old to rejoin the squad in the U.S. when he gave him permission to leave last week. Mourinho is a players' man, but not everyone wants to play for him and his United side can hardly be called thrilling.

Ohio's back to school tax-free weekend approaches Ohio's back to school tax-free weekend approaches During that time, customers can avoid paying the 6% state sales tax, as well as local tax when buying qualified clothing items. Mississippi's was last weekend, while Arkansas' is schedule Saturday and Sunday and Texas' is scheduled August 10-12.

Trump receives new letter from Kim Trump receives new letter from Kim Army soldiers who fought in the November, 1950 Battle of Chosin Reservoir - 1,024 Americans are still missing from that battle. Byrd said the process to fully identify the remains, now more than 60 years old, could take anywhere from days to decades.

Brilliant Kohli rides luck to save India Brilliant Kohli rides luck to save India It was nearly an easy-going partnership for the opening duo as they brought up 50 off just 70 balls before the drama began. Stokes, introduced after lunch, showed why he is such an important part of this England side with an aggressive spell.

NASA to announce next generation space flight crew NASA to announce next generation space flight crew The chamber allowed SpaceX and NASA to verify Crew Dragon's ability to withstand the extreme temperatures and vacuum of space. Bush directed in 2004 that the space shuttle program end as soon as construction of ISS was completed, then expected in 2010.

#InMyFeelingsChallenge: Drake's 'Kiki challenge' is breaking bones #InMyFeelingsChallenge: Drake's 'Kiki challenge' is breaking bones In hundreds of such videos that have surfaced on the internet, people are seen crashing into poles and tripping on potholes. A Florida man's attempt at the " In My Feelings " challenge went wrong when he was hit by a auto during the stunt.

Ohio State's Urban Meyer could face termination over assistant abuse claims Ohio State's Urban Meyer could face termination over assistant abuse claims Most troubling, that includes an alleged incident of domestic abuse on October 25, 2015, shortly before the couple divorced. Courtney sat down with Stadium to talk about what role Urban Meyer and his wife, Shelley , should have had in intervening.

Apple becomes first-ever company valued at $1 trillion The company's fortunes were turbocharged by the launch of personal gadgets such as the iPod in 2001 and the iPhone in 2007. While year-over-year iPhone sales increased by just 1% this past quarter, iPhone-based revenue jumped by a whopping 20%.

Thomas Markle says Meghan and the royal family 'cut me off completely' Thomas Markle says Meghan and the royal family 'cut me off completely' But if I send a birthday card to Kensington Palace, or wherever she's living now, it'll just be one among thousands. Hi daughter Samantha meanwhile told The Mirror that she is "desperate" for Meghan to mend her father's broken heart.

Republican donors the Koch brothers 'a total joke' Republican donors the Koch brothers 'a total joke' Officials said the meeting this weekend is the largest summer gathering of like-minded donors, with 135 first-time participants. Cramer, a Trump backer, has told allies he remains confident about his chances and will continue to support the president.

Thieves Steal Swedish Crown Jewels Before Fleeing By Speedboat Thieves Steal Swedish Crown Jewels Before Fleeing By Speedboat Strangnas cathedral has been closed so that "technical examinations" can be carried out, a police statement added. Among the jewels stolen are two royal crowns of King Karl IX and Queen Kristina , as well as a royal orb.

Mnangagwa calls for calm amid Harare clashes Mnangagwa calls for calm amid Harare clashes Meanwhile, many Zimbabweans have expressed shock at the military firing live ammunition. Chamisa accused ZANU-PF of trying to steal the election.

Chrissy Teigen defends Meghan Markle on Twitter Chrissy Teigen defends Meghan Markle on Twitter He reveals that our Queen manages to stay in shape (hey - I hope I look that good when I'm 92) by staying well away from pasta, potatoes and rice.

Trump Lawyer: Odds Against President Testifying in Russia Probe Trump Lawyer: Odds Against President Testifying in Russia Probe A successful conviction would give momentum to Mueller since the probe began 14 months ago. The Trump team began publicly arguing this assertion since late previous year .

Manafort Drops Appeal of Civil Case Against Mueller Manafort Drops Appeal of Civil Case Against Mueller Ellis has since ruled that Mueller is acting within the scope of his investigation in pursuing charges against Manafort. The trial is expected to drag on for at least three weeks, with jury selection for the case beginning on Tuesday.